SEO is changing all the time. As the Internet grows and changes, SEO does also. For this reason, you have to constantly stay on top of what’s new and seek out timely information. An article that is merely a year old could be hopelessly outdated in SEO. To help you, we have compiled a guide for 2016 that will provide you with everything you need to improve your search engine rankings.
Video Content is King
Video content is continuing to reign supreme in terms of audience engagement and ranking. Viewers stay on your videos longer than on pages of written content. Users are more likely to click-though from video searches. They also get much better organic Google page ranking than traditional text-based content. Use video SEO or upload your videos to YouTube in order to help Google find it. That way it will get indexed successfully, and your video content will appear when the keywords associated with it are searched.
Social Content is Growing
Social content is rising in importance because now search engines are using them as a factor in determining whether or not a website is legitimate. In addition, social media profiles are now showing up in search engine results, in some cases higher than the website. If you are not paying attention to the SEO of your social media accounts, you are missing out on some powerful results.
Mobile Optimization is a Must
More and more, your audience is using smartphones and other mobile devices while on the go in order to search for anything and everything. You want to create an online presence that is mobile-friendly, to meet the needs of those users. As increasing numbers of businesses go mobile-friendly, you will be left behind if your sites are not optimized for mobile use. In fact, this aspect of your site is so important that it is used as a factor in Google’s search ranking results.
Local SEO Must Be Tackled
With local SEO, you are focusing on ensuring that Google knows where you are, so that a local audience readily finds your information. For businesses that cater to a local audience, the importance of local SEO simply can’t be overlooked.
Google did its own research and found that 80% of customers search for providers that are close by, and that those who do local searches are more likely to act on that information. 50% of smartphone users visit the brick and mortar location with 24 hours, and 18% of smartphone searchers make a purchase in that same time period. Google also discovered that 80% of customers prefer ads customized to their local area, and 60% have actually used that information when provided in ads.
Mobile Apps are Still Growing
Mobile apps are steadily growing in usage, now accounting for more than 50% of time spent on digital media and more than 80% of online time spent from smartphones. With users making more purchases from apps, and content being more targeted to what they are looking for, the trend is sure to continue. If your business does not have a mobile app, the time has come to start investigating it.
Voice Search Function is Important
Increasingly, mobile device users are opting to use voice search functions. Users who are multi-tasking – searching while driving, cooking, exercising and watching TV – are most likely to use voice search. To be ready for voice searches, be sure to use long-tail keywords in your SEO efforts. These are much more likely to be used by those doing voice search.
Most sites would do well to improve their SEO, especially in light of the newer trends we discussed. Get that page 1 ranking by utilizing all the tools we have presented for SEO in 2016.
Larry Nolen is a freelance blogger, digital analyst and aspiring marketing guru who loves technology, and the Kansas City Chiefs. He works as an Digital Analyst for InternetChoice.org. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @larrynolen74